This way to the bank
Interim City Clerk Cindy Conway confirms her office received 122 applications from medical marijuana center owners seeking licensure by the city, more than 60 coming on the last day. Money-wise, that means the city collected $268,400 in application fees, $2,200 at a time.
Of course, there's even more cash headed for those coffers, says Tanya Garduno.
"That's a minimum, because the $2,200 was for an entire entity," says the president of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council. "So once you get your license, it could be three entities that you're paying the licensing on — two grows [and a center], or whatever."
Garduno's talking about the actual license fees that are owed after an application is approved: $1,800 for each center and grow operation. She estimates the total of these fees could add an additional $400,000 to city coffers, at a minimum.
"So, that means, just over a 12-month period, we'll pay half a million dollars," she says.
Shot down by ATF
On Sept. 21, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made pretty clear its position on medical marijuana users also owning guns.
"Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition," wrote Arthur Herbert, the bureau's assistant director of enforcement programs and services, in a memo to firearms licensees.
We contacted multiple local attorneys who specialize in Second Amendment rights for comment; they all either declined or failed to return calls. Sensible Colorado's executive director Brian Vicente offered this to the Denver Post: "From a patients' rights perspective, I think this is a travesty."
Weed fights crime
As has been widely reported, a recent study of California medical marijuana dispensaries by the RAND Corporation found the centers' presence in a neighborhood may result in less criminal activity.
"The authors analyzed data for the ten days prior to and ten days following the June 7, 2010, closure of over 70 percent of the 638 dispensaries then in operation," reads the report's summary. "Crime reports within a few blocks around closed dispensaries were compared with crime reports near those that remained open. The authors found that crime increased in the vicinity of closed dispensaries relative to the vicinity around dispensaries allowed to remain open."
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